Energy

Greater Mekong Subregion countries are in varying stages of economic development but share common goals concerning energy security and environmental protection. Progress have been made in promoting renewable energy, clean fuels, and energy efficiency, but new energy solutions remain crucial to the subregion’s advancement.

The GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) emphasizes cross-border power trade, establishment of regional grid codes, development of regional markets, and expanding clean energy investments with a greater role for the private sector.

The Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee (RPTCC) managed regional power trade in the subregion from 2004–2022. In July 2022, at the 29th RPTCC meeting, the committee formally transitioned to the GMS Energy Transition Taskforce (ETTF). Among other things, the transition to ETTF ushers in closer energy cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its initiatives, such as the ASEAN Power Grid.

 

New Energy Solutions Needed for the GMS

 

Energy consumption in the GMS countries has grown intensively as their economies develop, driven mostly by residential and industrial sectors. Demand is forecasted to increase materially over the medium term.

GMS countries have used different approaches to increase access to reliable, affordable, and low-carbon energy.

  • Power generation. Coal and gas remain prominent in installed capacity, but there is a diverse, complementary, and growing mix of renewables across GMS countries. Focus on specific types of renewables varies based on each country’s natural resource endowment but hydropower is fundamental to the subregion. In July 2021, ADB approved a technical assistance to support countries in Southeast Asia to accelerate transition to clean energy.
  • Power sector planning. Key themes that have emerged in the recent power development plans of GMS countries include the following: (i) development of grid infrastructure, battery energy storage system (BESS) and pumped storage hydropower; (ii) resource-oriented supply build-out; (iii) renewable-enabling policies and (iv) electric vehicle targets and planning.
  • Regional cooperation.Through the GMS platform, cooperation with ASEAN and other avenues for energy cooperation, GMS countries are working together to meet the subregion’s demand for new energy solutions. They share knowledge, experiences and lessons learned, and pursue initiatives that enhance and overcome challenges to cross-border electricity trade.

 

See initiatives of the GMS Energy Transition Task Force to promote energy security in the subregion in a sustainable manner.

 

Related

 

Key Energy Resources

 


Contact Persons

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Hyunjung Lee (lead) 
    Energy Sector Office
    Sectors Group

  • Atsumasa Sakai 
    Energy Sector Office
    Sectors Group

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Joao Aleluia 
    Energy Sector Office
    Sectors Group

  • Architrandi Priambodo 
    Energy Sector Office
    Sectors Group

  • Jeffrey Almera 
    Energy Sector Office
    Sectors Group

  • Pinsuda Alexander 
    Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit
    Southeast Asia Department 

  • Rafaelita Jamon 
    Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat 

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat


Mekong Countries, Republic of Korea Convene 10th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

The 10th Mekong-Republic of Korea (RoK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 28 September online, with the participation of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the RoK. The meeting highlighted achievements in cooperation on infrastructure, information technology, education, agriculture, environmental protection, and water resources management, and adopted the action plan for 2021-2025.


Top row, left to right: Dr. Danucha Pichayanan, Deputy Secretary General, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (Thailand); Mr. Liu Weihua, Deputy Director General, Department of International Economic and Financial Cooperation, Ministry of Finance (PRC); Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, Director, SERC, ADB. Middle row: Mr. Than Aung Kyaw, Director General, FERD, Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations (Myanmar). Bottom row, left to right: Ms. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Lao PDR); Dr. Pham Hoang Mai, Director General, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment (Viet Nam); and H.E. Mr. Ros Seilava, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance (Cambodia) 

GMS Senior Officials’ Meeting Reviews COVID-19 Response Initiatives and Prepares for Upcoming Events

A GMS Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) was held on 11 September 2020 via web-based conferencing to review (i) proposed key GMS strategic planning documents and knowledge products, which includes GMS COVID-19 response initiatives and the new long-term strategy for the GMS program, and (ii) preparations for upcoming GMS events—the 11th Economic Corridors Forum (ECF-11), the 24th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-24), and the 7th GMS Summit (Summit-7).  


At the grounbreaking ceremony of the V1-2 wind power plant. Photo by VNA via Viet Nam Plus

Construction of Viet Nam-Thailand Wind Power Plant Begins

The joint venture V1-2 wind power plant between the Truong Thanh Viet Nam Group and the Sermsang Power Corporation Public Company Limited of Thailand launched construction in Tra Vinh, Viet Nam, on 14 August. The 48 MW peak facility consists of 12 wind turbines to be built on 1,220 hectares in the Truong Long Hoa commune, Duyen Hai town. The project is estimated to cost around $96 million (2.23 trillion VND), and is expected to generate around 163 million kWh of electricity each year. 


The Lopburi solar power plant in central Thailand. Photo by ADB.

Eight Priorities for Kickstarting Post-Pandemic Green and Resilient Recovery in the GMS

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted people’s health and well-being, led to widespread job loss, and created extraordinary uncertainty with long-lasting effects. As with climate change, the pandemic has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable people across the globe, including those in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).  


A 24/7 automatic dispensing machine provides free rice for people out of work following the lockdown. This was spearheaded by a Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters on Twitter.

Initiative Gathers Mekong Innovations Spurred by the COVID-19 Pandemic

An initiative by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), Destination Mekong, and the Mekong Institute (MI) taps individuals' help in crowdsourcing newly-spotted innovations on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is being managed and/or overcome in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).


The Nam Theun 2 is a 1070 MW hydropower plant on Nam Theun river in Lao PDR. 95% of the power produced by the plant is exported to Thailand and the rest are consumed locally. Revenues from the power plant are used by the government of Lao PDR to help reduce poverty in the country. Photo: ADB

Lao PDR Highlights Dam Safety as Electricity Export Grows

As the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) increases its electricity exports, the country is prioritizing safety improvement of its dams. A committee comprising local and foreign experts will conduct dam safety inspections, according to news by the Laotian Times. The Government is also implementing new safety measures and standards.


26th Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee Meeting Held to Further Cooperation and Enhance Power Trade in the GMS

The 26th Regional Power Trade Coordination Committee Meeting was held to further cooperation and enhance power trade among members of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 26-27 November in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. Hosted by Viet Nam's Electricity Regulatory Authority, participants included energy officials from GMS member countries and representatives of ADB and development partners. 


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